IBM's Smarter Approach To Contextual Cities

Shel Israel | Forbes | June 3, 2013

NOTE–I am writing a book called Age of Context with Robert Scoble. It is expected to be complete in October. Following is an excerpt from a chapter called Contextual Cities and the New Urbanists.

Herman Hollerith was born in Buffalo in the late 1800s. He studied to be a mining engineer and wound up teaching at MIT. It is said he tinkered a lot, and in 1890, he invented the first electric tabulating machine.

Finding that it could count heads with unprecedented speed, the US Census Bureau became Hollerith’s first customer. He thought the new machine might provide him with a business opportunity, so he founded the Tabulating Machine Company [TMC].

Over the next few years, TMC merged with several other companies, one the maker of a cheese-slicing device. When Thomas J. Watson became president in 1915, he focused on making machines for businesses worldwide.  Watson was fond of the literal and straightforward. He renamed the merged entity International Business Machines, or IBM for short.